You Gotta be Kidding Me, Right?

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

– Thomas Edison

Uhhhh, ok?
Uhhhh, ok?

I’m not even sure where to begin with this; speechless, you might say — and when it comes to diet and fitness, that’s not at all like me.  The one thing that I can say, though, is that one can easily see how we as a nation ended up in the health care morass we find ourselves in now.  Now I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a conspiracy theorist per se, but damn, if the general public is gullible enough to be taken in by the utter bullshit spewed by the folks behind the Smart Choices food labeling campaign, well… I guess I’m the fool for not taking in some of that action, too.  Problem is, I can’t seem to muzzle my conscience.  The Smart Choices crowd, however, seems to have no problem at all with that little inconvenience.

Anyway, how’s this for a few selected pearls of “wisdom”?

Eileen T. Kennedy, president of the Smart Choices board and the dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, said the program’s criteria were based on government dietary guidelines and widely accepted nutritional standards.”

Emphasis mine.  Apparently, having a long list of credentials following one’s name does not inoculate against pure F*ing stupidity.  Or selling-out, for that matter.

“You’re rushing around, you’re trying to think about healthy eating for your kids and you have a choice between a doughnut and a cereal,” Dr. Kennedy said, evoking a hypothetical parent in the supermarket. “So Froot Loops is a better choice.”

How about a nice cup of arsenic, kiddos, or maybe a duce-duce slug to the temple?  Hell, CAFO animals are treated more humanely.   Donuts.  Froot Loops.  Health care debate.  Now I’m feeling suicidal.  If you haven’t already, check out Richard’s post for more on the subject of rampant, abject stupidity.

“Froot Loops is an excellent source of many essential vitamins and minerals and it is also a good source of fiber with only 12 grams of sugar,” said Celeste A. Clark, senior vice president of global nutrition for Kellogg’s, which makes Froot Loops. “You cannot judge the nutritional merits of a food product based on one ingredient.”

And just who is this Celeste A. Clark dumb-ass, you ask?

“Dr. Clark, who is a member of the Smart Choices board, said that the program’s standard for sugar in cereals was consistent with federal dietary guidelines that say that “small amounts of sugar” added to nutrient-dense foods like breakfast cereals can make them taste better. That, in theory, will encourage people to eat more of them, which would increase the nutrients in their diet.”

Ahh, I get it now. Nice move, doc.; now, how does it feel to be wealthy and soulless?  Explain to me again the difference between this and the business model for a successful drug cartel?

And finally this.  “Finally”, not because that’s all the stupidity and wanton greed exposed in this article, but because it’s all that I can stomach in one day:

“Ten companies have signed up for the Smart Choices program so far, including Kellogg’s, Kraft Foods, ConAgra Foods, Unilever, General Mills, PepsiCo and Tyson Foods. Companies that participate pay up to $100,000 a year to the program, with the fee based on total sales of its products that bear the seal.”

I bet they have. Now, take a wild guess as to what kind of political power these companies wield via intense lobbying efforts.  What kind of incestuous interests do these companies have in the pharmaceutical and insurance business?  Things to ask yourself.  You say you want health care “reform”?  I say you’re seriously fucked; pardon the French.  Comparisons to the military-industrial complex, anyone?

More on this later.

In health,


18 responses to “You Gotta be Kidding Me, Right?

  1. You are fired up — and I can see why. Today feels like a lesson in fucking stupidity all the way around.

    I just hope the Bucks win.

  2. A school of nutrition at a major university, and they follow government guidelines… um, isn’t is supposed to be the other way around? Science should guide government. Sickening…


  3. *sigh*. This kind of stuff makes me so apathetic about college. Go, play the game, plug into the machine, get your doctorate, and turn out a dumb-ass. Fantastic.

    • Intelligence does not, unfortunately, necessarily beget wisdom…nor intestinal fortitude, nor “soul”. The latter qualities must be cultivated apart from the acquisition of knowledge. The problem is, I’ve found, that the “intelligentsia” believes knowledge trumps all; add to that belief the hubris of never questioning the validity of that “knowledge” and you end up with…well, the kind of tripe exposed in this article.

  4. I sent the following to Eileen Kennedy at Tufts University. Such a piece is such a piece of ….

    You might find the following lecture helpful in evaluating the role of sugar in the SAD diet…of which FRUIT LOOPS is contributing to the obesity of our children and our grossly obese general population.

    Lecture by Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Endocrinology explores the damage caused by sugary foods.

    In the pocket of food manufacturers that pay up to $100,000 to be in a program to label their products SMART CHOICES is not very becoming. It is groups like yours that accepts the government’s gross generally accepted food guidelines which are killing Americans and is directly causing obesity in America. Shame on you and shame on Tufts.


  5. I knew that the smoking I did for years was good for me. The small amount of carcinogens added to the oxygen dense air made it taste better. If it wasn’t for that, I never would have wanted all that oxygen.

    Guess it is time to start again.

  6. Brilliant rant!

    I liked this gem as well:

    “She said the program was also influenced by research into consumer behavior. That research showed that, while shoppers wanted more information, they did not want to hear negative messages or feel their choices were being dictated to them.”

      • How’s the saying go? “A man doesn’t change his mind against his will.” Something to that effect. Perhaps that’s what they’re getting at and I agree.

        That said, people want far too much boiled down when the reality requires a little more reading…is a little more fluid. In their context, fruit loops ARE better than a doughnut just as being shot with a 22 is better than a 50 cal. Their terms…not well defined. They’re not going to tell people “use the grey matter between your ears.” That might be too much in our “fast paced” world, where no one has time to “eat right” or “exercise” right? 😉


  7. Wow…that was too much…I picked up Good Calories Bad Calories to read during the times I’m in the passenger side of the car this holiday weekend, and finished the Fat-Cholesterol Hypothesis part today. I thought that got me all fired up, then to read this, just…I don’t know what to say.

  8. Keith,

    It gets me so frustrated because when you have a discussion with people (family and friends/ other parents) on these type of issues, guess who gets quoted?? That’s right, people like Celeste A. Clark and Eileen Kennedy (and a host of others)
    Since these are “respected authorities” with major degrees from prestigious institutions…..people tend to look at me like I’m talking out of my ass….
    I don’t discuss anything I can’t back up or explain myself. And eventhough I share resources where people can go to find out for themsleves……….nobody does.

    Life goes on and “Uncrustables & Frootloops” remain highly nutrious foods.


    • I hate it too, Marc. I just have to keep reminding myself that the “student” has to be ready or the lesson will simply not be heard. Doesn’t make it any easier to swallow, but…

  9. I, too, was blown away by this new labeling device. The question I ask is how can we effectively move people away from focusing on “nutrients” and instead focus on food? This includes those of us trying create and support alternative food systems. Let’s focus on the food (taste, flavor, emotional, experiential benefits) rather than on whether there’s a higher level of Omega 3s or whatever. Will this work? I think it can.

    • The push for “nutrient consideration” is, of course, a fabrication of the the “value added” food companies. Of course, the last thing these companies want folks to realize is that once one adopts a rational, whole-foods, eating strategy, the question nutrient make-up/density/ratios takes care of itself.

  10. It is a sad thing that modern society depends so much on “ethos” (and “pathos,” but that is a different rant) that it has no use for “logos.” Someone said it well above: we want our (bad) decisions validated, so we search for a convenient “expert” to lend ethos and tell us that everything will be OK (even as we grow fatter, sicker, poorer, stupider, etc.). I keep on hoping that one day enough will be enough, and a sizable group of us will come out and take responsibility for ourselves (and all our decisions: good, bad, and indifferent) and lives we lead. All the current ethos-binge does is perpetuate a mentality that makes lots of money for lawyers (who come in when the inevitable occurs and sue the pants off of all the lying “experts”). It never fixes anything.

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